Monday, May 14, 2012

Queen Arrived

I gotta call at 5:45 am this morning from the post office!  They said your bees have been received.  So I go to the back door of the post office to pick up my lady!  I was pretty sure she was going to be dead on arrival.  She was shipped out on Wed. of last week and she was supposed to be here no later than saturday.  So I got her in the truck and the first thing I do is open the package to check if she is still alive.  To my surprise she is still alive.  After that I add a few drops of water onto the cage so the attendants could feed her. 

Got home and added her to my hive.  It was pooring down rain and wasnt the best time to open the hive but I needed to get her in there asap.  Not only for her health but also the health of the hive.  In a few days I will go in and make sure she is still alive and possibly laying eggs. The only thing I noticed was I ordered a marked queen and she came in unmarked.  No big deal but would have been nice to have her mark so I could Identify her faster.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Queen on Order

So I ordered a new queen for my bee yard.  This queen is a VSH(varroa sensitive hygienic) queen.  I plan on keeping a few of these hives in the yard but not my primary stock.  I will be cross breeding them with my Italians and home of the survivor stock from a feral hive behind the house.

I'm getting this queen from a Farm from East NC called Mott Bee Farms.  Check out the link to their web site.

My plans are to get a few more splits. I will try to get at least 7 to 10 hives going this year.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Inspection with my Brother-in-Law

So I have tried really hard to get my brother-in-law involved in beekeeping.  He has thought about it and has the equipment to do so but no bees.  So I gave him a tour of my hives while I was doing my inspection.  I was great to bond with a family member over something you are very compassionate about.

All the hives are doing great. Im really excited about our newest hive we have started and we are still waiting on the queen to arrive.  She should be shipping out tomorrow.  I added the feeders back on top of the hives just cause the tulip poplar did not last long and the ladies harvest all the clover they could out of our clover patch.  With that being said, Dad cultivated the entire clover patch and we are going to start our buckwheat.  Buckwheat is very desirable to the bees and make a dark honey.  This can be grown all the way up to the first frost.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Making More Boxes

So I know its not the best time of year to be doing this, but I started on making a few more boxes.  I hope to be expanding a few more hives this year.  The past couple years that I have been making my boxes I have just mad my corners of my hive butt up against each other.

I have ventured into the box joints for my corners and love them.  It is more work but looks 10 times better and will more sturdy.
I got the plans off of build it yourself page.
Normally you would make a 3/4 wide joints but my table saw would not accommodate that wide of an dado blade, so I half that and used a 7/16" dado. This is what a corner looks like.

I will make a few medium supers and going to make a few nucs also.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fat Bee Man (fbm)

There is a guy on youtube and on the web called Fat Bee Man.  This guy is amazing in the bee industry.  He has a website called Dixie Bee Supply.  Any one looking to go organic?  This is something you need to watch and check out!

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Caught a Swarm...... Kinda

So today I went out to remove one of my swarm traps out of my backyard and to my surprise I found a small swarm of bees clustered on two frames.  At one point I didn't even know that there was anything in it.  I didn't even put any protection on of any sort.   So this was a little odd.  I wouldn't even call it a full swarm.  Anyway, I took them to my bee yard and looked for a queen.  No queen and no eggs in sight.  So I dropped in a couple of frames of brood, pollen and honey.  This will make the existing bees stay and also help with the bee population in the hive.  So my next step is to order me a queen or let them raise their own queen.  I takes almost 3 weeks for them to make the queen and have her laying egg.  This will take time that I don't wanna wast so, I ordered my queen from a bee farm called Mott Bee Farm.  They are fairly local and offer a VSH (Varroa-sensitive hygiene) Queens.  I really want these bees in my yard, so I can start to cross mate all my queens.  This will improve the fight against Varroa Mites and also reduce the potential of robbing.  

 So I have expand to 4 hives!  I plan on making more nucs and start breeding my own queens. 

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